Speedometer Cable Woes

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Speedometer Cable Woes
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 11:40 am:

I need some advice. My Maxwell uses the same setup for a speedometer as a teens model T. I Just purchased a Stewart cable and it has a complete chain that I can't get enough slack in to remove the chain for cleaning and lubrication. It revolves freely but stiffly and I can just get either end to come out of the cable about 1/2 an inch so I can just see the first link that looks completely closed? What is the trick to getting more slack? Am I just wasting time trying to salvage the chain and should I just replace it with a modern inner cable kit from Lang's?

Thanks for any help or advice you can give,
Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 11:49 am:

If you don't get a good answer here, talk to Russ Furstnow.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 12:04 pm:

There is a drive link at either end . One at the speedometer head and one at the swivel. The one at the swivel is the clutch. Remove the one at the speedometer head and remove the chain from the other end. Twisting the chain in the opposite direction should give you enough slack to remove the end. Sometimes it is easier if you "un-load" the chain by twisting it while you pull the chain out which relaxes the chain so it is more flexible.
I run chain on all my speedometers with no trouble but you need to inspect them when you have the chain out to make sure none of them are bent or twisted the wrong way. With the housing cleaned of all old hard grease and the chain well lubricated the system works remarkably well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 01:43 pm:

The chain is the way to go if you have it. Like most things from the T catalog outfits "modern" is not better.

Grab the end link with a small plier and turn it while pulling backwards like Val said. You will gain enough length to disconnect the end link.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 02:48 pm:

Well, I'm back. I did something that often gets me in trouble but this time didn't. After two days of trying to get the chain loose enough to unhook it I lost all patience and hooked the chain with a prybar and decided it was either going to crush the housing or break the chain or come loose. Luckily I got it unhooked but it took every bit of strength I had and I doubt I'll be able to pull it that hard again to reassemble it.

Here's my newest question. After cleaning everything up I decided to do a trial fitting before reassembling it permanently with grease. I laid the chain on the floor and it measures exactly 60 inches from the bearing surface on either end. The housing measures exactly 60 inches as well, NO Wonder I had trouble!! Shouldn't I have at least one more link or half link and where do I get one? Or are they all this tight?

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 02:57 pm:

It should be one inch longer than the housing. I don't see how anyone could assemble it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Friday, January 27, 2017 - 12:15 am:

Anyone know where I can get more chain links? Quite a few show excessive wear and I'd like to replace with ones in better shape if possible?

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Friday, January 27, 2017 - 11:30 am:

Bob Bergstadt probably has some NOS links.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 04:52 pm:

Thanks to you guys, I've pretty much found all I need to get a functioning period correct speedometer on my Maxwell. Started to disassemble the 1913 swivel and hit a snag. I took the nut off, removed lock washer, nut back on loosely and smacked it real had with a brass hammer on the nut and without the nut to point that I'm afraid I'll mushroom the threads or bend the shaft and no movement whatsoever. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 05:09 pm:

The body is threaded ! Hammers & pot metal don't like each other much !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 05:17 pm:

I called Russ Furstnow and he said what I was doing should have worked to get it apart?? Steve, any chance you have a picture of where these threads are?

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 05:53 pm:

Howard, the nut is a locknut. The bolt is threaded in the lower housing, next to the nut. It needs to be screwed out of the bottom housing. The bolt usually has two flats on the head to take a wrench. Hopefully your efforts with the hammer have not done any damage. Check closely that you have not damaged the thread on the bolt before you try to wind it out of the pot metal housing.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 06:31 pm:

Allan, thanks for your help and explanation instead of just making fun of me. This is exactly why we DON'T need to ban pictures to another area. After my last post I went back out to the garage and was able to remove the bolt and thanks to overbuilding of these old parts they resisted my amateur attempt to destroy them. I looked everywhere trying to find pictures or a discussion of how this came apart and only found a picture of a different model and assumed mine came apart the same way. When it resisted I called Russ and can only assume he was busy or distracted as I told him what I was doing and he said it just needed more effort. That didn't work so I called back and he said just clean and lubricate but I went back and half came apart on my own and the other half came apart after talking to you guys. You can bet when I get this all cleaned and ready for reassembly I'm going to take pictures and post them so the next guy doing this for the first time doesn't destroy valuable parts like I almost did.

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Friday, February 03, 2017 - 10:59 am:

After getting my swivel apart I find what appears to be an old break judging by the grease staining. Apparently there are two style 1913 swivels. Mine has a bolt that threads into the other half with a lock nut and the other one has a pin passing through both halves and locked with a press on cap.

Does anyone have an extra 12003 half with the threaded hole?

Does anyone know if the two styles halves can be intermixed?

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Friday, February 03, 2017 - 04:58 pm:

Howard, as far as I know, the two housings are interchangable, as long as you use the relevant pin/bolt through the two. Being pot metal, many of the housings are damaged.

Russ's advice may be given on the understanding that you were dealing with the pin and collar method of securing the two halves.

Best of luck finding just the housing you need. One thing in you favour is that piece is not as often damaged as the upper piece which carries the output shaft. Also, you need not find a housing with the part no. 1913 stamped in it. Again, as far as I know, housings with different numbers will also interchange, the difference in ratios/direction of drive being in the innards.

I can supply a whole swivel if you cannot find what you want.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 02:25 pm:

After fighting this thing for weeks I broke multiple chain links several times yesterday and have decided this just is not worth the time and expense to go original and have ordered Lang's modern cable insert kit. Can anyone tell me what is involved in putting it in? Any soldering or is it crimped together?

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Colin Mavins Winnipeg,Canada on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 03:02 pm:

Since your talking speedometer cables, what are you greasing them with ours has never been apart I going to guess its dry inside but has worked fine for 50 years Cheers Colin


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 06:16 pm:

I'm positive it isn't a lubrication problem as I first dumped a bottle of military grade liquid graphite down the casing followed by liberally greasing the chain as it was fed into the casing.

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 07:12 pm:

Howard,

If you don't "lay the chain" in the cable housing before you hook it up to the speedometer head, it is one way to break the links. If you did "lay the chain", there is a kink or break in the cable or the speedometer head is too tight.

This is the routine I go through to "lay the chain links" each time I pull the chain out to lube it (which is not very often):

1) Feed the chain into the housing with plenty wheel bearing grease all over it.
2) Stuff both ends of the chain to their operating position in the cable.
3) Hook the chain/cable to the swivel.
4) Engage the pinion gear on the road gear.
5) Jack up the front wheel with the road gear on it and spin it in the "forward direction" and check the speedometer connection end to be sure it is spinning smoothly as it should and not coming out of the cable.
6) You now have the links all flipped in the correct direction.
7) Then hook the chain/cable to the speedometer head. Spin the front wheel forward and check the speedometer head which should be reading 5-8 mph smoothly and not jumping around.

I use the same grease as the front wheel bearings and lots of it.

Ken in Texas


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